Atheist ads fail to get onto Italian city’s buses

January 17th, 2009 - 6:36 am ICT by IANS  

Genoa (Italy), Jan 17 (DPA) An attempt by Italian atheists to emulate like-minded campaigners in Britain and Spain by placing ads on buses denying the existence of God, suffered a setback Friday when their proposal was rejected in the northern city of Genoa.IGPDecaux, an agency which sells advertising space on behalf of Genoa’s municipal transport company decided not to run the ads, the Union of Atheists, Rationalists and Agnostics (UAAR), said.

The ads bearing the slogan: “The bad news is that God doesn’t exist. The good news is that you don’t need him to,” were to be posted on the back of public buses serving the port city, beginning on Feb 4.

“It’s okay to advertise underwear and holiday resorts, but not to grant a space in which to say God doesn’t exist,” UAAR secretary, Raffaele Carcano, was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency.

It was not immediately clear why IGPDecaux decided not to run the ads.

UAAR said its intention is to highlight what it describes as the interference of religious groups, especially the Roman Catholic Church in civil liberties issues.

UAAR said it chose Genoa to launch the campaign because the city’s Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco heads the body representing Italy’s Roman Catholic bishops.

Several conservative politicians have spoken out against the campaign, branding it an insult against religions.

Britain’s first atheist advertising campaign was launched in October, while a similar one began this month in Barcelona, Spain.

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